Man in Argentina accused of locking his wife and autistic son in a cage for at least two years

The victims were kept in the 'worst of human conditions'

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The Independent US

A 61-year-old man has been arrested in Argentina on suspicion of locking his wife and son in a cage for at least two years.

Eduardo Oviedo was detained by police on Friday at his home in Mar del Plata, southeast of Buenos Aires, where they discovered a dirt floor room – described as a cell with metal bars and an iron door which locked from the outside.

The man's 61-year-old wife suffers from psychological problems and his 32-year-old son is autistic.

The caged cell had old mattresses, rubble, bricks and pet food in it. The two were allegedly kept in the cell during the day and in a filthy room in the house during the night.

Prosecutor Alejandro Pellegrini said that police found the victims in a raid after two of Oviedo's other children reported the situation.

"The house also had a room in the worst of human conditions where the woman and son spent the hours of the night," he said.

Several sources, including La Nación, have reported that the victims were kept locked up for six years.

Oveido could face 15 years imprisonment for kidnapping and keeping others in conditions of servitude. The sentence could also be extended to life imprisonment if the charges are extended to include the aggravated circumstances.

The defendant denied the charges and declined to make a statement in court on Saturday. Mr Pellegrini said that Oveido will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.